Retailers need to understand their customers on an emotional level and realize that today’s average consumer expects a highly-personalized and easily accessible shopping experience. Shoppers expect to find their favorite stores online, on an app, on social media, and of course, in a physical location. According to a study from IBM and Econsultancy, there is a large gap between what consumers expect and what brands are delivering. Consumers believe the reason for this discrepancy is because their favorite brands do not understand them as individuals.
One of the most important things retailers can do to meet the needs of their consumers is to deliver excellent customer service across all of their channels. Make sure your employees are friendly and greet every customer [learn how to enhance customer experience here], your ecommerce site is easy to use, and you’re posting regularly on social media. Exceptional customer experience is going to be what sets successful brands and stores apart from everyone else.
So, the big question is, how are retailers supposed to know what their customers want? The answer is simple: analytics. Data and analytics provide visibility across all engagement channels to better understand customer buying patterns, what products are performing well, when to mark down slow-selling products, and real-time inventory data. Data and analytics allow merchants to make educated decisions about what is working and what is not working, and make adjustments accordingly.
According to the IBM Holiday Readiness Report, this upcoming holiday shopping season is expected to be bigger than ever before. Growth in ecommerce sales on US retail websites has grown more than 10% each quarter over the past year. Retailers must use real-time data to keep up with their consumers’ wants and needs in order to be successful this holiday shopping season. (Retailing Today)
To learn more about the importance of data, and how to track and analyze your data, check out this ebook.
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